Monday, December 31, 2012

The Last of 2012

Well, it's finally here.  The end of another year.  I had a good year - it was my first complete year as a full-time writer (I quit the day job in June 2011).  I didn't accomplish everything I wanted - I'm not any more fit or skinnier - but I enjoyed my work and my family and that counts for a lot.

In 2012, I wrote 3 complete novels and turned them in to Harlequin.  I also uploaded four out of five of my former Kensington Precious Gem books.  They started earning me good money. 

I did not work out with a personal trainer this year due to finances.  I went to physical therapy on my pulled tendon and could do very little cardio other than a recumbant bicycle.  As I healed, I tried to up the workouts, but being lazy at heart, I did not.  Despite knowing what I have to do and purchasing books with workout routines, I gradually stopped working out and then even going to the gym.  I am not happy with this, and need to get back.  I've kept my weight pretty even, though 20 lbs higher than I'd like, but the muscle definition and strength I'd gained vanished. 

2012 was the first full year of having my elderly father live near me.  It was also the first full year of my husband's retirement.  Combined, this has made life interesting, to say the least.  Various health scares on both their parts were thankfully resolved. 

My mother has survived past her doctor's expectations, though she continues to fail slowly.  She passed the one year mark since being diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. 

I attended the Novelists, Inc. conference in White Plains, NY.  This was my first writing conference away from home since 2009. 

We had a white Christmas, which was lovely.

Now I look forward to next year.  I have two books remaining on my Harlequin contract, one due in April 2013 and one in September 2013.  I still have one more old Precious Gem to revise and put up for sale as an ebook.  And I have to get back to being fit, make better food choices so I can lose that 20 pounds, and continue to monitor both my husband and my health. 

Here's to a wonderful 2013!




Wednesday, December 26, 2012

After Christmas

What a holiday!  Here in Texas, we had snow on Christmas Day.  Sure, it wasn't much, but we had a white Christmas which was absolutely amazing. 


I took all of last week off from writing, though I was so busy it didn't really feel like a vacation.  I cooked and shopped and wrapped and bathed dogs.  Then on Christmas Eve I visited my mother and had a meal with her.  We got home and stopped at Chili's later, where I had my traditional Christmas Eve Margarita.


And then we drove around and looked at Christmas lights.

During that night, it began to thunder and pour rain.  Then in the wee hours of the morning, it hailed.  When we got up Christmas morning, it was raining.  Gradually, that became freezing rain and sleet.

And then.... SNOW! 


Unfortunately as the temperatures continued to drop, the slush became ice and my family had to leave fairly early due to possible icy roads.  We'd planned to watch a movie with my daughter after all the festivities, but she had to head home.  My husband and I rented Men In Black 3 and truly enjoyed watching it while sitting next to a roaring fire in our fireplace.

I had a wonderful holiday this year.  Family, food, presents, and snow.  What more could one ask for?

Now I need to get back to work.  Unfortunately, I'm still exhausted.  I did begin sketching out a synopsis.  I need to fill in the blanks and begin the first chapter.  But for now, I'm taking it easy.  Drinking hot tea and looking out at the snowy landscape. 


Friday, December 21, 2012

The End of the World

So the big Mayan calendar thing is over.  Not that many people really believed in it anyway, though it was the fodder for one really stupid movie and a lot of Facebook and Twitter trash talk.  The world was supposed to end at midnight last night or something - I didn't pay all that much attention to it.

So... now we inch toward Christmas.  The big holiday.  Lots of food and family and presents and fun.  For me, everything is bought.  Everything is wrapped - except two items that I'm waiting to show up via UPS.  Yesterday I made oatmeal, chocolate chip, and molasses cookies.  And had a long lunch at an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet.  Not good for my waist, but so much fun.  I'm enjoying these few days off - five now, if I don't work today.  Wow! 

I do need to get to work on my Romantic Suspense proposal, I know.  But I just finished a very intense book and my creative well could use a bit of refilling. 

Speaking of books...   Yesterday I received the cover for my April 2013 Harlequin Nocturne The Wolf Prince.  I had told the art department I wanted someone who looked like Robert Downey, Jr.  They nailed it, except for the hair.  This is, hands down, my most favorite cover ever. 


And it inspires me.  Helps fill the well.  And makes me want to write again.  Love it!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Time Off

I did it!  With the help of the amazing Anna Adams, I finished revising and editing and polishing The Broken Wolf.  First thing yesterday morning, I clicked SEND and away it went to my editor. 

Then I went out to breakfast.   I had an omelet - chicken and mushroom and swiss cheese.  Yummo!


And the omelet came with pancakes - with strawberries and whipped cream!  (Lonnie helped me eat these, as there was NO way....)


Once breakfast was devoured, we went Christmas shopping.  Thanks to online retailers, I was pretty much finished, except for Lonnie's gift and a few small odds and ends. 

We went home halfway through to let the dogs out, and then got back to it.  Success!   

Now all the gifts are wrapped and under the tree.  Next I can turn my attention to baking - after I buy groceries, that is. 

And yes, I am going to get to work on the proposal that was due 12-15.  I hope to turn it in soon - like in a few days.  After I bake cookies. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Faith in Humanity

It's early Sunday morning.  My husband is still asleep.  I've been getting up at 6am for 7 days now because I have a book due tomorrow.  It's overdue - it actually was due 12-1 and I got an extension.  My dear friend and critique partner Anna Adams has been critiquing it and I'm doing the edits before I send it in.  It's very time consuming, and difficult to do with tears running down my cheeks.

Since Friday, I've been crying.  Since 20 tiny children were gunned down, along with five educators including a 27 year old teacher who protected her class with her life and a principal who I actually wish had been armed (odd thought, but if principals at schools were trained and allowed to carry a gun, maybe she could have took him down before he killed so many.)  My daughter is a teacher, and she was once five years old.  I know she'd give her life for her kids, just as any mother would give her life for her own.  At the thought of this happening in her school - any school - I want to shrivel up and die. 

I cannot imagine the horrible grief and pain the parents of those murdered children must be feeling.   Every time I think about it, I weep.  It's difficult to write romance when I feel so surrounded by darkness.  My writing friend Eileen Nauman said we need to try and focus on the brightness within us and send it out into the world to try and dispel the darkness.  I'm trying, oh how I'm trying, but at times the darkness seems to overwhelm me.

But we can't let it win. 

On Facebook and Twitter, I've seen discussions spiral into hatefulness.  Gun control is a hot topic.  I will say up front, we are an armed family.  My husband is getting his CHL (Concealed handgun license).  Personally, I abhor guns.  I'm afraid of them.  I don't hunt, don't shoot, but I can tell you this, I would if it meant defending a small child or anyone that I loved.  Including my dogs. 

People kill people.  Criminals will find a way to get weapons.  Just like the car is not at fault when a drunk driver kills someone, I don't feel that banning guns is the way to solve this.  Maybe stricter gun law will help, but I honestly don't think so.  I think the problem runs deeper.  What the hell is wrong with a society where a grown man feels it necessary and right to slaughter innocent children? 

I don't have the solution.  Hell, I can barely even deal with the pain.  All I know is this is usually the most joyous time of the year.  I've got to find a way to get back to that joy.  And to banish the darkness.

But right now, I've got to get back to revising the book. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

And So It Begins....

Today is the last week before I have to turn in my next Harlequin Nocturne THE BROKEN WOLF.  I turned in the Author Alterations on THE MILLIONAIRE COWBOY'S SECRET on Friday - they were unexpected and ramped up my stress level several notches.  Then I got back to writing.  I have under 10,000 words to go which is roughly 50 pages.  So if I write 10 pages a day this week, I will have the weekend to review and repair before sending it off on Monday.

I also have a proposal due for the next Harlequin Romantic Suspense.  I'm feverishly tossing around ideas while I focus on the Nocturne.  I know I want a couple who share a past, but that's about as far as I've gotten.

All other activities this week will be put on the back burner.  So.... no Christmas shopping or baking or anything.  Not until this book goes bye-bye.

I may try to pop in here once or twice this week.  If  not, I know you'll understand.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy

Yep, that's me.  Busy, busy, busy.  Just as I'm sure you are.  I'm working like crazy trying to get my next Nocturne THE BROKEN WOLF finished in time for the extended deadline of 12-15.  I also am contractually obligated to turn in a proposal for the next Harlequin Romantic Suspense book, so I'm letting ideas percolate. 

Plus there's Christmas - my favorite time of the year!  I love the shopping and the decorating and the wrapping and the cooking.  All of it!  Here's my tree!


Because I'm so busy (I call it deadline mania when it gets like this), I rarely leave the house.  I get up work all day and then after I make my word count, I shut down the computer, feed the dogs and make dinner, and then wrap a couple of gifts before I plunk down in front of the TV for the night.  Oh, and three times during the day I walk, so I'm still making my 10,000 steps or more a day.

I just need to get back to weights and resistance training!  With time, with time.

Gotta run.  I have a book to write.  One last picture, of my big Boxer Dog Macadoo who thinks he's a lap dop, sleeping on the recliner with his dad!  He's 70 pounds of preciousness! 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The French Room - A Magical Evening

Yesterday was a very special day.  25 years ago my husband and I got married.  We had planned to celebrate at the Eiffle Tower Restaurant at the top of the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, but as that trip was called off, we searched for something equally special here locally.  I finally narrowed it down to two places - The Mansion on Turtle Creek and The French Room in the Adolphus Hotel.  Both are in Dallas, but after reading reviews on both and seeing how Zagat rated The French Room as one of the two best restaurants in the world (yes, THE WORLD!), the choice was clear.  I made reservations at The French Room for 7 pm.

 
We arrived and the place was beautiful
 
 
Absolutely stunning!
 
 


I couldn't get enough of the surroundings!










Bar none, this is the best restaurant I have ever been to. Including Vegas or NYC or Quebec or anywhere.   The service was exceptional, the hotel and restaurant absolutely gorgeous, and the food - amazing!

For appetizers, my husband had the Hudson Valley Foie Gras and he could not get over how wonderful it was. Perfect, buttery, melts-in-your-mouth. I had the Lemon Butter Poached Maine Lobster and it was also delicious.   Here is the Foie Gras (duck or goose liver).


 
And here is my lobster



Almost too pretty to eat!

Entrees - he had Slow-Cooked Tenderloin of Veal and I had Nova Scotia Halibut. Again, both were fantastic. I would have to say that's the best Halibut I have ever had - and I've eaten it on the East and West coast. What also made the meal was the Wine Sommelier Richard. He gave us pairings for both our appetizer and our meal and he was not only dead on, but the wine was the perfect compliment.





Here is his veal.


And my halibut


In between the courses our waiter Carlos (wonderful man!) brought us the usual tiny bites to cleanse your palate. One was tiny bits of rabbit, mushroom, and a califlower puree. The other was a champagne and apple juice sorbet. Both were delicious.

Then it was time for the dessert. My husband had the caramel pumpkin brule and I had the Saffron-Poached pears. I do wish I'd listened to Carlos and tried the Chocolate Souffle, as I couldn't stop thinking about it. We had coffee with our dessert.




From the moment we arrived until the second we left, we were treated like royalty.




Out in the hotel lobby, there was a beautiful Christmas tree.  Another couple took our picture and then I took theirs.  Fair exchange!

I was a bit worried about going to such a fancy, five-star restaurant, but my fears were put at ease the instant we parked at the complimentary valet. Every single person we dealt with remembered our name (amazing!) and when we returned to the valet, without even being handed the ticket, they even remembered our vehicle!

Best.  Meal.  Ever.  Well worth the price and we both will always remember our 25th anniversary meal!

 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Whew!

Sorry for the absence.  It's been a rough time for me and mine.  Getting ready for Thanksgiving on Wednesday, my husband kept saying he "didn't feel right".  Nothing specific, just that.  Plus he was short of breath.  Couldn't hardly walk three steps without gasping for air.  In addition, his blood pressure was super low and his heart rate super high. 

Now being a man, he refused to go to the ER.  I called his cardiologist and told them what was going on.  They'd started him on a new drug, a beta-blocker, about ten days before, so they told him to quit that, plus quit his other blood pressure medicine.  So he did.  By thanksgiving, his blood pressure was high instead of low, his heart rate still fast, and he still felt "not right."  We ate and watched football, while I tried not to worry.

Friday much of the same.  He sat around not feeling good, but said his chest wasn't hurting or anything.  Because the cardiologist's office hadn't seemed concerned, I tried not to be. 

When I got up at six am on Saturday to let the dogs out, he told me he was having crushing chest pain and had been since 2am.  He hadn't woken me then because "he didn't want to worry me."  I told him we were going to the ER and if he refused, I was calling 911.  He finally agreed, though he wanted to take a shower first.  I said no.

The hospital admitted him, but said his EKG markers did not indicate a heart attack.  They felt like he probably had some blockage.  They were scheduling him for a heart catheterization angiogram on Monday morning, which meant he'd have to stay in the hospital until then.

However, on Sunday morning my phone rang at 5:38 (scaring the bejeezus out of me) and he told me they were going to do the tests around 7am that morning.  Apparently someone else had an emergency in the night and the team was in place with the operating room ready, so it was a go.   

Great news!  So I jumped up, brushed my teeth and washed my face and got dressed.  I was out the door at 6:10 am and in Grapevine at the hospital by 6:30.  There's no traffic that early on a Sunday. 

We received an awesome report.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with his heart.  The doctor said no narrowing, no plaque build up, nothing.  They think it was either a reaction to the new beta blocker or else he had a pulmonary embolism (blood clot) in his lung.  They want him to have a CT Scan next week to check this.  They couldn't do that while he was there because of all the die they'd injected in him for the angiogram. 

So he got to come home Sunday.  We were both so exhausted, we went to be at 8pm and slept in until 8:30 am on Monday.  Then I had to catch up on laundry and groceries etc.  I'd managed to finish putting the tree up late Saturday night after I got home from the hospital, so I am done with decorating.  I'd done the rest of the stuff on Friday. 

And today is our 25th Anniversary!  We had planned a trip to Vegas and were supposed to fly out yesterday, but I cancelled all that and we're home.  We'll have a nice dinner out tonight to celebrate.

I'm very thankful, because Lonnie is my best friend and soul mate and I don't know what I would do if something happened to him.

And now today, I can get back to finishing that book.  The sooner I turn it in, the more I can focus on the upcoming holiday.  Oh, and I have a synopsis due on 12-15 too for my next Harlequin Romantic Suspense, so I'd better put my thinking cap on for that too.

What I have to say is this - Cherish your loved ones.  Don't take them for granted.  Give thanks and appreciate them every single day.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thankful Tuesday

My friend Anna Adams wrote a great Thanksgiving post on her site Ann'a Blog   It made me feel nostalgic, remembering when I lived in the NE with all my cousins on my dad's side.  We'd go to my Aunt Maryanne's house and all get together, just like what Anna wrote about. 

Now, I'm in Texas.  I still have family (Aunt, Uncle, and two Cousins with their respective spouses and children) in Massachusetts.   And I have an Aunt and two cousins and their families down in Clearwater, Florida.  At Thanksgiving, on alternate years we have a full house here - my brothers and their significant others, my nephew, my daughter, my mom and her partner, and of course me and my husband. 

This year, our gathering will be quite smaller.  My first Thanksgiving with my father in 16 years.  But because it's an alternate year, my brother goes to his in-laws, along with my nephew.  My other brother has plans, and my Mom and her partner are having the meal with her partner's daughter and husband.  So it will just be four gathered around the table this year.

While I enjoy big gatherings, this year I will enjoy the smaller one too.  Less pressure, more relaxed.  I'm still cooking a bunch of food - that's what I do an what I enjoy.  We'll parcel up leftovers and send them with my daughter and my father, as well as keep some back for us to enjoy. 

I have a lot to be thankful for.  I'm very glad that both my husband and I have good health.  Sure, we've each had a few set backs along the way, but basically we're good.  I'm thankful for our 25th anniversary - we made it 25 years!!!  I'm thankful we are able to take a trip to celebrate that milestone.  I'm thankful he loves me still and that I love him. 

And my daughter.  I'm thankful and proud of her.  I enjoy hanging out with her and texting her and hearing about her adventures as a teacher.  Ad of course I love her very much.

I'm thankful that for the past year, my mom has managed to keep her Pancreatic cancer at bay.  So far, the Chemo has worked and it's still confined to her pancreas.  I'm glad we get to celebrate another Christmas with her and her partner.

Oh, and I can't forget the dogs.  Mitchell Thomas, Mac Macadoo, and Liberty Belle.  I adore my fur-children and love that I get to spend all day with them sleeping in my office while I work. 

So there you have it.  My list.  What's yours?  Happy Thanksgiving! 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Musings

As I struggle through my line edits, I (like all writers who procrastinate) occasionally glance at Facebook.    On my feed are a lot of postings for urgent dogs, urgent cats, pets someone once wanted and now "no longer has time for."  Dogs that were first kicked out of the house and relegated to the backyard, where they were ignored.  Some of them were starved or got heartworms because the owner wouldn't pony up the money to give the dog one tiny pill a month. 

This saddens me, sickens me, makes me want to weep.

I just read about some dog in Miami who was left in the backyard and ignored for so long his collar became imbedded in his neck.  I see starving dogs, sick dogs, abused dogs.  These trusting, loving creatures... words fail me.

All of the animal shelters are full around here.  Begging for adoptions.  The rescue groups are begging for fosters.  Young dogs are being euthanized.  People are actually dumping old dogs that they've had as a pet for eight, ten years, because they were what - too old?  How would those people feel if society treated them like that?  Seriously.

I have three dogs of my own.  Beloved family members, all of them.  I also have a big heart, but a limited budget.  If I could, I'd foster.  I will, someday.  I'd like to save them all, but know I can't. 

The North Richland Hills Animal Shelter, the Watauga Animal Shelter, the Humane Society of North Richland Hills, Legacy Boxer Rescue, Austin Boxer Rescue - every day I see these posts.  I see these loving animals with their eyes full of hope. 

So please, if you're thinking about getting a pet for the holidays, think about a shelter dog or a rescue dog.  And remember, having a dog is a for-the-rest-of-their-life committment.  They have such short lives as it is.  They deserve to be loved.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mid-Week Windup

So many thoughts going through my head.  I just read Tom Piccirilli's post on Brian Keene's page.  While I don't personally know him, he's another author who is a Facebook friend and was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor.  I lost my brother in law Dennis to a brain tumor and I thought of sending my sister in law Lavenia (his wife) a link to this post, but I didn't.  I was afraid she might find it too painful.  At least if she sees it here, she has the option of reading it or not.

                   Tom's post

 I can relate to this man's words.  Especially the part where he asks not to lose his capacity for thought.  Breaks my heart. 

On Facebook, where I spend far too much time, many authors are doing a thirty days of grateful thing.  I didn't do it because by the time I saw it there were maybe 20 people already doing it and it would have seemed overkill.  But I am grateful.  So grateful.

Right now I'm super busy.  I have a book due 12-1.  I'm only at 60,000 words out of 80,000 needed.  That's about 100 pages short.  It's probably going to be a touch late.  I got line edits on my April 2013 book and then, a few days after that, I got AA's (the final page proofs) on my March 2013 book.  The publisher also needed Dear Reader Letter's and dedications.  Next week is Thanksgiving and while I don't have to clean (Thank God for the cleaning people!), I am cooking for my father for the first time since 1996.  Last year I had the entire family here; this year it's just us and my daughter and dad, but I still want it to be awesome. 

After the holiday, we usually put up our Christmas decor, which takes three days.  And then there's the anniversary and the trip to Vegas, all in the time before this book is due. 

So yeah, I'm a bit stressed.  Though oddly enough, since this is my full time job now, I'm getting work done.  Line edits, check.  AA's, working on.  Dear Reader and dedication, check.  I can only do what I can.  And so that's what I'm doing. 

And I'm damn thankful to be able to do it.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Finally Fall

Once again, it's been awhile since I posted.  There's a reason, sort of.  I'm still sick.  This bronchitis is kicking my butt.  I have endured two entire weeks of it.  Finally on Friday the 9th, I called my doctor and he prescribed some stronger antibiotics.  So I'm taking them, still taking the Mucinex D, and hoping eventually I'll get back to normal.

We're a little more than a week out from Thanksgiving.   Finally, finally, finally, we had a cold snap.  When I got up this morning it was 34!  Our trees are finally starting to turn!  This is the Sweet Gum tree in front of my house.

And yes, I'm writing too.  Not exercising - can't breathe - and not eating out.  As a bonus, I've lost three pounds!

Anyway, that's all I have to report for now.  I'm still plugging away, and hoping to get well soon.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Award Nominations!

Wow, what a day today was!  Not only was it election day - I voted, despite the stupid bronchitis that will not die - but I found out that Romantic Times Magazine has nominated two of my books for best of 2012.

First, my January Harlequin Nocturne THE WOLF WHISPERER was nominated for best Harlequin Nocturne of 2012.



And if that wasn't enough, my September Harlequin Romantic Suspense The Cop's Missing Child was nominated for best Harlequin Romantic Suspense of 2012


This is a very cool award in the romance writing world.  I have won it once before, in 2005 for SECRET OF THE WOLF, which won for best Silhouette Intimate Moments of 2005.  I look at that plaque whenever I'm having a bad writing day, and feel better instantly! 

Not sure when the winners will be announced.  The RT Convention, when they give out the awards, is in St. Louis, MO over my birthday.  That would be a heck of a present, wouldn't it?  (Fingers crossed!)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Rolling With the Punches

And with the new time change (which I love, btw), Monday has rolled around again.  I adore getting up and it being semi-light outside rather than pitch dark.  My husband is the opposite - he hates it. 

I spent this entire weekend at home - still sick.  This morning I was determined to return to my normal life and tried to do my morning walk.  I had to stop because of the coughing doubling me over.  So, not well yet.  Still taking medicine and wishing for this crud to go away.

I did get some writing done on Saturday though.  I'm very happy with the story so far.  I just passed 50,000 words (out of 80,000 needed by December 1.)

And as I was looking over my stack of unread magazines (I'm so far behind), I realized that Thanksgiving is two weeks from this Thursday!  OMG!  I'm not ready. At all.  Last year we had a huge family get-together at my house.  My mom had just been diagnoed with terminal Pancreatic Cancer, so everyone came.  This year, my brother and his wife are spending the holiday with her family as they skipped them for two years in a row.  My mom and her partner are going to have Thanksgiving with her partner's daughter and husband, and this year for me it's going to be a very small get together.  Just me, my husband and daughter, and my widowed father.  This will be his first Thanksgiving alone and his first Thanksgiving with us since 1994 - Eighteen years!  I've already done a little bit of decorating, not all of it as I'm still feeling bad, but I need to get on the ball, don't I?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday Roundup

It's Friday.  I can sum up this past week in one word.  Sick.  Yes, it got worse and worse, though honestly Tuesday and Wednesday were the absolute worst.  Today I finally broke down and made a doctor's appt for this afternoon.  I was hoping to beat this on my own.  But since it made me miss Halloween - one of my favorite holidays, and since even with the Mucinex D, I'm not getting better, it's time to get a Z-Pack or something.

Sigh.

I did finally get back to heavy duty writing yesterday.  I tried on the other days, but my head was buzzing and I ended up crawling into bed and giving up.  But yesterday, I got back on track because my book is due 12-1 after all.  And there's a major holiday in there plus a major anniversary and trip to Vegas.  So... I have to be very much a stickler about meeting my word goals.  And it looks like I'm going to need to start working on weekends, which I hate.  Ah well.

While at the conference, which focused mainly on the business side of writing, there was on craft class.  Donald Maas has a new book out, so he was talking about that.  It was very interesting because he had us think of the last scene we'd written before attending the conference.  Then he asked us to write down the viewpoint character's strongest emotion in that scene.  Then he said now write the second and third emotions. 

After we'd done that, he had us pick the second or third emotion, assign it a color and an animal, and write a scene with the character experiencing that emotion.  I did and was so happy!  Talk about deeper.  So now I'm going back and re-editing my story, which is now well over 200 pages, and it's going to be so much better. 

Also today someone posted a great review of my first Pack book, One Eye Open.  It was very nice to read it and made my day. It makes writing a lot easier when I read something like that.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Conference Crud

I never get sick.  Or at least, it's a rare thing for me to get sick.  I can't even remember the last time I was ill.  I guess because we had a small business and went to a small gym, I wasn't exposed all that much?  Shrug.  Even when I went to writer's conferences, I'd hear about other people getting sick, but I never did.

Never say never.

I was feeling a bit crappy on Sunday, but put it down to exhaustion from the non-stop workshops and the horror (to me) that is air travel these days.  By Monday, I realized I had a cold.  No big deal, right.  Yesterday, I was a bit worse, but still doing ok.  Then last night I was up all night coughing and hacking and wheezing and using tissue.  This morning I'm bleary and congested and aching and... sick.  Duh.

The conference crud has struck.

I have to avoid both my elderly parents - don't want to get them sick.  And tonight is Halloween, and I can't even hand out candy - don't want a bunch of sick little kids.  I had planned to sit outside with Libby my Boxer puppy and Lonnie my husband, but that's not gonna happen.  I'll be luck to get some writing done today.  Sigh.

Keeping my fingers crossed this doesn't turn into anything worse.  One lady who was at the conference had it move into her chest and turn into bronchitus.  Yikes.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Avoided - Home Again!

I am back in Texas.  I got out of White Plains, NY yesterday (Sunday).  The flight was packed, as was the next one I took out of Phillie.  It wasn't raining yet, but Hurricane Sandy was on her way.

I enjoyed my time there.  Here is the view from my hotel window. 


Oh, and here's another (how I wanted to go walking in that neighborhood, but couldn't as I didn't want to miss the workshops.)


The conference was fun and amazing.  By Saturday, people were changing flights to get out of there before the hurricane.  My flights were full and I made it home around 3 pm yesterday.

I was so exhausted I went to bed at 8pm and slept until 6 this morning. 

But now I'm getting caught up, praying for those in Sandy's path, and then I plan to go through my notes.  I have TONS of notes.  I have some work to do on social media, plus theres a work in progress just waiting for me to get back to it.

So I shall.  But wanted to stop in here and let you know I made it back.  Yay!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Back East!

I am currently in White Plains, NY at the Novelists, Inc. conference.  Yesterday - just about all day - was a travel day for me.  I had a layover in Phillie, then a prop plane ride her to White Plains.  On the shuttle ride to the hotel, I got to see a lot of fall foliage - OMG how I've missed that.  And I can see some from my hotel room.  Makes me long to get out and about - if my husband was here with me, we'd probably have rented a car and stayed longer so we could drive around and explore the area.  So beautiful!

And this conference.  One day under my belt, and what a day!  I've learned so much and heard from so many people in the industry!  I've got two more days - I fly home Sunday morning - and am sure I'll be chock full of info!   Loving it.  Best.  Conference.  Ever.  Well worth every penny.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Thankful Tuesday

Yesterday I worked all day on Line Edits for my next Nocturne The Wolf Prince (out in April 2013). 

Yesterday my Mom was told that her cancer still has not spread out of her pancreas - the Chemo is working at keeping it at bay!

Today my husband left before eight to drive to Conroe, TX to attend the funeral of his Aunt Ethel, one of the sweetest people I've ever met.  I couldn't go because I not only have to watch the dogs, but I have to pack for my trip tomorrow.  My flight leaves at 8:30 am. 

Today I am packing.

It's been funny thinking about what to wear.  At first, I agonized over dress slack and blouses, and then on the conference email loop, everyone started talking about what they were wearing.  Jeans and colored jeans and Chico Travelers pants.  Sneakers and flats.  Sweaters and comfy clothes.  Since I'm a Taurus, comfort is VERY important to me.  While I don't have any Chico's and can't really run to the mall right now, I do have jeans.  And colored jeans.  So packing is going to me MUCH easier.

I can't wait to get started!

And the weather.  Yesterday here in Texas it was nearly 90.  Hot and humid and I was not amused.  In New York, the high's will be in the low 60's - much, much, much better for me.  I do love me some Autumn. 

Though it's going to be a long travel day (one hour layover in Phillie), I'm looking forward to having the room all to myself - a treat, even though I'm going to miss seeing my friend Stephanie Doyle.  She had to cancel for personal reasons.  I'll also miss my husband and my three dogs.  Sniff. Sniff.

Other than that, I'm ready to go!  Lot's of stuff to learn, other writers to see and mingle with, so I can come home educated and inspired and ready to get back to work writing! 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday, Monday. Can't Trust That Day

Here we are.  Monday again.  I had a lovely start to the weekend - we went to the lake on Friday and that night had our very first camp fire of 2012.


The temperature was lovely - high sixties, so comfortable for sitting outside and relaxing. 

Even as it got darker, it never got really cold. 


While at the lake, I realized there is a feral dog living in the cove.  The lake is down and most of the cover is completely dry.  I saw the dog footprints in the muck and then I saw the dog.


I even got out binoculars.  It appears to be a purebred German Shepherd female who has had puppies at some point, though not recently as her teats didn't appear full of milk.  She's living in some tall (over six foot) rushes at one end of the cove.  One of the other residents around the cove is feeding her, though I can still see her ribs.  She is terrified of people.  It looked like the person who is feeding her also has a huge live trap set and I'm thinking he's going to start moving her food bucket closer and closer to the trap until it's inside it.  I watched her walk through the water (up to her belly!) and across the cove to eat. 

For a dog lover like me, this is torture.  I hope she will be okay.  I wish I could get a rescue group out there to use a tranquiler gun or something and trap her.  Otherwise, I fear she will not make it over the winter.  And since I won't be down there next weekend, I won't know how it goes.

And more - my husband's aunt Ethel passed away on Saturday from a massive heart attack.  I won't be able to attend the funeral as I've already purchased plane tickets to fly to White Plains, NY for the Novelist's Inc conference.  I did order flowers this morning.  Aunt Ethel was a kind hearted lady and will be sorely missed. 

I also got edits for The Wolf Prince which will be out in April 2013.  I got them now, right before I go to the conference, but they appear to be line edits, which are easier than regular edits/revisions.  I'm glad, since I did all those back in May. 

Today is also the day my mom finds out the results of her latest CT Scan and learns if the cancer has spread.  Praying for good news on that front.  Her platelets got really low from the Chemo and she had to have a blood transfusion on Friday.   Your prayers would be appreciated!

So I've got to pack and do edits and try not to worry or stress.  Wish me luck, please.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Time Flies

Wow, it's nearly been a week since I posted here.  I've had to do some revisions to the 40,000 words I had written on the new Pack book  and until I did them, I couldn't move forward with new material.  I finally completed those (took a week) and now I can go back to just writing.  Whew.

The weather here has been odd.  Hot (up to 87 one day) and cooler (down to 50 one morning), which I love.  Overcast a lot, but very little rain. 


I'm getting ready to go to the Novelists, Inc. (NINC) Conference next week in White Plains, NY.  I did a little shopping with my daughter last Saturday - we had so much fun!  We met for lunch at Pei Wei, then went to a wine tasting at World Market (yes, I bought far too many bottles of wine), and then we headed to Southlake Town Center.  She bought a new Coach purse at the Coach store. I'm so envious - it's beautiful, soft butterly leather in an Oxblood color.  We went to Loft and I got a shirt for the conference (on the clearance rack - 40% off the sale price, even!).  And finally, I made a trip to Victoria's Secret, where I used several coupons and rewards.  Great way to spend a few hours on a Saturday!

So now I'm recharged and rejuvinated and ready to write. 

Speaking of writing - a shout out to my best friend Anna Adams, who recently made an amazing writing goal by sheer force of will (and sleepless nights!)  I'm so proud of her!

Oh, and the sequel to The Passage by Justin Cronin - The Twelve - came out today and hit my Kindle (I had preordered it!)  Since I just finished re-reading The Passage, I'm ready to dive right into that book.  I can't wait!  I know what I'll be reading on the plane!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Guest Blogging

Today, I'm a guest blogger over at www.drunkwritertalk.blogspot.com

You should check it out - they're a fun bunch of writers over there, as evidenced by the title!

On another note, Thursday is the 25th anniversary of the day my wonderful husband proposed to me!  We always celebrate this day, and often go to the hotel bar/restaurant where he got down on one knee.

Such fun!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Finally Autumn

This morning when I got up, it was 40 degrees outside!  Yesterday, it never got above 54.  Saturday's high was 57.  To me, that's autumn.

We went to the Legacy Boxer Rescue's fund raiser on Saturday.  Mums and Roses, it's called.  I brought my little girl Boxer Libby.  This was her first outing among other dogs and people (I waited way too long), and she did well.  She does a bit of submissive urinating at first, but she was wiggly and happy to see other people - especially kids.  She greeted several other dogs, though there was one other female that growled at her and she growled back.

I got some beautiful mums.


I can't wait until they open.




This kind of weather makes me happy.  Yesterday I made a chicken, sweet potato, and collard green soup.  It's one of our favoritesand it always turns out yummy.


It's a lot of chopping (it also has onions and celery), but it's worth it.  I made such a huge pot, we'll be having it for dinner again tonight.

Usually, I make a loaf of homemade bread, but this time I splurged and bought garlic pull-apart bread at Super Target.  It too was delicious.


And now, completely revitalized and rejuvinated, I can start back to work on my book.  Fantastic weekends have a way of making everything better.  As does cooler weather.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Writing Musings

My friend Stephanie Doyle talks about her current book, Harlequin Superromance One Final Step over on the blog www.drunkwritertalk.blogspot.com   She makes the point that this time, her hero Michael translated to the page exactly the way she envisioned him in her head.  (BTW, One Final Step got a Top Pick and 4.5 stars from Romantic Times!  Buy this book!

I am envious.  Because that's exactly what I'm fighting with now on my current WIP, Broken Wolf.  The hero of this book Lucas Kenyon, is the Broken Wolf.  For various reasons, he's damaged.  He trusts no one, not even the heroine Blythe Daphne, even though he feels compelled to rescue her.  And then help her save her daughter. 

Pretty cool setup, right?  Yet even though I'm 32,000 words and 153 pages in, he's not translating from MY head to the page the way he needs to.  I want dark, dangerous, damaged, and sexy as hell.  I don't think I'm writing him that way.  So what does this mean?  Revisions.  Yes, I'll have to go back and fix this and make him appear on paper the way he appears in my head.  I'll need to do this before I send the book to my editor on December 1.

This is not an easy task, non-writer people.  (Writers already know this).  Writers like me and like Stephanie have am inner vision of how these people look, how they act, what they have buried deep inside them.  When we write the book, we try our best to make sure we get that on paper so the reader can see this person the same way we see them. 

When I write  a first draft, I try to get the story on paper as quickly as I can.  I try to be mindful of word choices and character growth and scene and structure and all that other B.S., but I want the reader to fall in love with my hero.  To want to be my heroine.  Sometimes I'm lucky enough to pull that off.  Other times, not so much. 

My main problem right now seems to be I keep thinking about the hero from the book I just turned in, The Millionaire Cowboy's Secret, a Harlequin Romantic Suspense that will be out in May 2013.  I keep mixing up the names even - which is NOT good.  The hero from that book Matt Landeta, really resonated with me.  So did the heroine.  And I'm having trouble letting them go. 

So back to the current book I'll go.  I need to up the tension between the two characters, but mainly I need to make sure they translate from my head to the page. 

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Travel

Next month is our 25th wedding anniversary (we just had our 30th dating anniversary!)  Because it is such a special one, we are going to one of our favorite places on earth - Las Vegas.  We have a budget and I looked into several All Inclusive type beach thingees, but we're not much for sand and surf and heat.  Europe is just out of our budget range.  And the places we love up north are too cold in November.  We just did a cruise last year, and haven't been to Vegas in two years (last went in 2010), so it's Vegas, baby!

 
I'm really excited.  I've made reservations at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant on our anniversary night.  I've purchased the airfair tickets.  Made reservations to board the dogs.  

 
I've even booked time off in my writing schedule.  So we're good to go.  I'm looking forward to my annual huge Margarita at El Diablo.  And dinner at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville.  


 Oh, and gambling.  I enjoy that occasionally too! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday and October

It's finally October and this morning it actually felt like Autumn.  When I walked, it was only 61 degrees outside and sunny.  Lovely!

We went to the lake this weekend.  It started raining Friday night and was still raining Sunday when we left.  That area got nearly 4 inches of rain - and they needed it!  Even our small cove had a noticable rise in water.

I enjoyed it tremendously.  On Saturday morning, it was a steady, soft type of rain.  We have a covered patio, so we sat outside and drank our coffee.   Lovely and cool and so relaxing.

By Saturday afternoon, it started to pour.  And the wind began to blow.  So we had to move into the camper.  The dogs weren't too thrilled, but I was.  I wrote and I read.  All day.

It was very refreshing.  And I loved it.  I'm re-reading The Passage to get ready for the release of the sequel The Twelve later this month.  I have it on pre-order for my Kindle. 


Of course, now I'm home.  I had laundry to do and groceries to buy - I got that all done yesterday.  Today is catching up on emailes, I have a blog I need to do for EHarlequin, and I made a huge crockpot full of beef stew.  I can smell it simmering all the way upstairs in my office.   I'm going to make homemade bread too.  Perfect fall fair. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Retail Therapy

What a nice Thursday!  I'm in such a good mood, despite the unrelenting heat (still in the 90's folks!)

As I mentioned before, I have a writer's conference in late October.  Since I can't wear high heels anymore due to my tendonitus, I took a couple of pairs of my dress slacks over to the tailor to get altered.  Then, while I was out, I stopped at Ross and bought a pair of jeans, a black skirt, and a top.  I also went in and checked out Clothes Mentor, the new used clothing store that just recently opened next door to my gym.  I bought a necklace there and looked at a bunch of clothes.  The store was packed!

Then I came home to a sparkling clean house.  No, my husband didn't clean it - though he did mow the lawn.  This was the day the cleaning people come, so they'd put in their two hours (two ladies) and my house is spotless. 

I made lunch, and now am catching up on stuff as I prepare to write.  I've been consistently hitting my 2,000 word a day goal (roughly ten or eleven pages), so I'm on track.  I've also marked a straight week of 10,000 plus steps EVERY SINGLE DAY!!  Yay me.  No backsliding on that  - if I'm not there at bedtime, I go for a walk until I am there.

In other news, for the first time ever, one of my self-published books has sold over 1,000 copies in one month on Amazon!  This is one of my old Precious Gems books, Want You Back.  Another old Precious Gems book, Desert Fire, is gaining with close to 700 copies sold, but the month ends in 3 days, so I don't know if it will make it.  Pretty exciting to me!  This will make for some nice royalty checks.  I'm thinking of doing another promotional push in October, so we'll see how that goes.




Anyway, I do have a Nocturne to write.  Better get to it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mid-Week Rambles

Once again, Wednesday has rolled around.  It's the last week of September (Wow!  Time sure flew.)  So far this month, I've written 21,181 words on the new book, 5,027 on the book I turned in on 9-3, plus done four or five blogs as guest posts. 

So I have been busy. 

Now sometimes, it's difficult to write - personal life and family intrude, especially when I have a parent with a terminal illness. Watching my mother attempt to deal with this has made me think about my own life.  Specifically, how I'd want to spend my final months if I was diagnosed with a terminal illness.

I'd have to say, there are places I want to see before I die.  But more important than that, I'd want to see them with the people I love.  My daughter and I have taken several trips together - most notably a ski trip and a trip to Washington DC, so I'd get with her and let her choose someplace that she really wanted to see (like Nashville).  And then I'd take her, just her and me.  Watching her experience this would bring me great joy and knowing I'd shared that with her and that she'd have that memory of me after I was gone would give me a lot of comfort. 

My husband and I have a list of places we'd like to go.  Places we want to see together.  But once again, I think I'd let him choose the place he most wanted to see, even if it had been someplace I'd been before.  Because I'd want the experience of watching him see this place and would love that he'd always have the memory of sharing it with me.

Because the people I love and their memories of me and them together are very important to me. 

Other things that bring me joy are listening to great music live.  I'd attend as many concerts as I could and failing that, I'd buy new music and listen to it until I had the words memorized (I do this already!)   And reading a good book.  I'd make more time for reading and less time for television, though there are a few shows I couldn't give up. 

I'd write my life story so my daughter would have more insight of what my life was like.  (Note to self - still must do this regardless.)

I'd do the volunteer work I've always wanted to do - at least until my health made me unable to do it.  Rescuing dogs, helping them find loving homes. 

I'd cook more - oh yes, I'd cook delicious fattening things that aren't good for you because at that point, what would it matter?  I'd eat cheesecake for breakfast if I wanted.  And lobster and hamburgers and cake.  All the things I now have to eat in moderation to watch my weight.

What else brings me joy?  I'd visit my friends, at least once.  Those that live across the country in Georgia and New Jersey.  I'd ask them to show me their town, their homes, their lives, and when I left I'd know they'd have that one final memory of me. 

Of course, I would have to do these things before my health declined.  And this is assuming that I got enough notice.  So I'd have to prioritize, but I'd try to do as much as I could.

This is just me musing.  None of us really knows what we'd do in this situation. 

What would you do?  Think about it.  I'm curious.  Even if you don't comment, what would be most important to you in the final days of your life?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Thinking About A Vacation

So it's late September, nearly October.  Yesterday the temperature reached 97 degrees.  Yep.  You heard that right.  Meanwhile, my friends on the east coast are talking about highs in the 60's and 70's.  I WANT THAT WEATHER. 
 
There.  Got that out of my system.  I know it's coming - we usually start cooling down in October.  I just need to be patient.    Ah, but it's soooo difficult.  At heart, I'm still an upstate New York kind of girl who always adored autumn. 
 
Next month I'm am traveling to New York for the Novelists, Inc. conference.  So I'll get some of that weather, hopefully. 
 
And then... and then in November, it's Lonnie and my 25th Wedding Anniversary.  We've decided to take a short trip - Vegas or an All-Inclusive tropical thing, or even another cruise (though probably not for 7 days like before as we have to board the dogs.)  We haven't been to Vegas in a few years, but honestly if I had my druthers I'd pick somewhere like Chicago to explore and eat, or California.  Still, I'm looking at Mexico or Jamaica or something - just a chance to get away and hang out with my hubby and celebrate a quarter of a century together.
 
 
Below Pic is Biloxi, MS - we went July 2011.
 


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Going Easier on Myself

I'm so hard on myself lately.  I can't do everything and be everything to every one, yet I manage to feel guilty.  I have to tell myself daily that I have a job and just because I work from home, doesn't mean I can act like I don't have to work. 

Yet I keep disappointing people without even trying.  

All I can do is keep on keeping on. 

I want (expect) so much from myself.  I want to be in better shape, to do the workouts my old personal trainers had me do, but with tendon injuries, it's not possible.  So I do the best I can, making sure I get my 10,000 steps a day and lifting weights a few times a week.  I did a total body workout on Tuesday after work, and am still feeling it two days later.

I want to be able to write effortlessly, but have to continually remind myself it's butt-in-the-chair, plan scene ahead of time, sheer work. 

I want to do more promo, but I've already done six or seven guest blogs (some will appear by the end of the month) and my own as well. 

I still have one more backlist book to put up on Amazon, but it needs editing and I simply don't have time.  Yet.  I will, someday.

And have I worked at all on that YA idea I have?  No.  All my writing time is (as usual) dedicated toward contracted books.  Yet I want.  I want.

I want to read more.  I have over 300 unread books on my Kindle and probably that many in my TBR stack.  Yet I am reduced to reading during commercials while I watch mindless television like The Voice and The X-Factor.  I have several workout books I'm dying to get to as well, plus I just ordered The Plot Whisperer and Workbook and I *need* to read those to see if they will help me plot.  (Thanks Anna Adams for the recommendation).

Writing is hard when life throws you curve balls.  I try to find a balance of normal in my life, I have found I thrive with routine rather than chaos, and yes - I did get some sleep last night.  Thank goodness.

I feel constant pressure to do more.  It's worse now than it was when I actually worked a day job and wrote in my spare time, though I had longer deadlines then.  Some of it is the fact that my mom is so sick and also that my elderly dad moved here and is now alone since his wife died.  He knows no one, so I feel bad for him.  At least my mom has her life partner - they've been together 35 years.

Ah well, I'm human.  I work, try to maintain a great relationship with my husband, take care of my dogs, and myself.  If I ever figure out a way to clone myself, I'll be able to do more, but until then, I just keep on keepin' on.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mid-Week Insomnia

I have a friend who often battles with insomnia (hi Anna!).  Me, I wake up in the middle of the night around 2 am and then can't go back to sleep for an hour or two.  But last night, I couldn't go to sleep at all and then when I finally dozed off around 1, I woke up at my normal 2 and was awake until 4:30.   So I got maybe 2 hours of sleep last night.  I partly blame the diet Coke I drank after lunch, forgetting that any caffinated beverage after two will haunt me. 

So anyway, I'm groggy and achy this morning.  I walked this morning, but not my usual mile or two with the dogs, just laps around the swimming pool area.  I woke up craving protein, so I cooked eggs instead of my usual oatmeal.

And I'm running late on everything, despite getting up at my normal 6 am. 

But this morning was 58 degrees when I got up - lovely!  I know the weather people say we will hit 90 again before the First Day of Autumn (which should be a holiday in my book), but I'm hoping we're finally, truly done with heat and summer.  I'm ready.  (Photos is from a prior year!)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday

Yesterday I didn't get much work done.  We had a bit of a set back with my mom's health and I couldn't concentrate, so I didn't write much.   I also had to take one of my dogs to the vet.  Today has been a flurry of family phone calls so thus far, nada, zero, zip on the writing front.  As a matter of fact, I'm writing this while on the phone. 


I will leave you with a picture of my two dogs.  I have three, but these are the two Boxers at the lake this past weekend. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday Again


Cooler weather is FINALLY coming and we spent last weekend (and Friday, at the lake.  The temps were lovely and the rain held off until we left.  I got a lot of writing done on my Alphasmart (2,000 words).  Unfortunately, I don't have Wi-Fi there, only my cell phone, so I'm still playing catch up here with email and blogs and stuff. 

I am ready for autumn.  More than ready. 

Today is the day my online short Pack story goes live at EHarlequin.com.  It's under Extras and they post one chapter per week for eight weeks.  This is to celebrate my October Nocturne called The Wolf Princess, which comes out soon.  I've been guest blogging all over the place too.  Plus tweeting and Facebooking etc.

So I'm frazzled and tired and ready to sink myself into my writing.  Here I go.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Writing Stats

I just looked at my writing stats for last month.  In the month of August, I wrote 31,792 words.   That's just book words, on The Millionaire Cowboy's Secret.  It doesn't includes blogs or emails.

On September 1-4, I wrote 5,027 (redoing what I lost on the above book).  I turned in that book on September 4.

Wow!  No wonder I feel like I need a vacation.  Sheesh.

Then, on September 5, I started the next one The Broken Wolf.  As of Tuesday September 7th, I'd written 6,309 words on it.    I try to take weekends off (except at the end when a deadline is looming).  I have a minimum word goal of 1500 a day, so there you are. 

Now I don't feel so bad.  That was a bit of self-motivation for me. Because I am SO having a problem getting started on this next book.  Now I see why.  Sheesh.

On the exercise front, I have been making my 10,000 steps a day goal pretty regularly.  The exceptions were a couple of days when I hurt my stupid ankle, so had to not walk.    And then yesterday we had company all day, so I didn't make my steps.

Every day is a new day.  Onward.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Never Forget

It's been eleven years now, but I still remember that day like it was yesterday.  The shock, the horror, the tears, the terror.  How the earth seemed to come to a complete halt, while everyone panicked and tried not to.  Skyscrapers in Dallas were emptied, because there were rumors of more planes.  My daughter was at college at Texas A&M and my dad was still working at the Hardware store.  I called them after the third plane hit the Pentagon and told him we were at war.  He didn't know - he freaked out and said he had to call his wife.  I tried to call my mother but got her machine (and she doesn't turn her cell phone on).

We were at work and the normally busy phones stopped ringing.  I remember I had one guy call for a quote and I thought it was weird, but I got him one. 

That night, stunned, heartsore, and frightened, we watched the news coverage replay the twin towers over and over and over.  I wept.

That day, something broke inside me.  Something broke inside a lot of people.  Time does heal all wounds, but I still tear up when I remember that day.  My voice breaks when I try to talk about it. 

Never forget.  Ever.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Starting Out Right

For as long as I can remember, I had this plan of how my days would be once I was a full time writer.  Of course, I thought my husband would still be working - I had no idea it would take until he was retired for me to be able to have my dream.  But it's good, it's all good.  I just wish the publishers paid a bit more promptly, but it's been over a year and so far everything has worked out fine.  I'm truly blessed.

This morning I got up and took the dogs for a morning walk.  Lonnie took Mac Macadoo and I took Liberty Belle.  We walked one mile instead of our usual two, and then I came back and got Mitchell Thomas (the Mini-Schnauzer) and walked a bit more.  The weather is fabulous  and I feel absolutely wonderful!

Yes, I'm very late sitting down at the computer, but what a way to start my day.  That way, if I get busy and can't make the gym, I know I got my exercise (plus I can lift weights here if need be.)

Now I'm off to check email and get back to the business of writing.  I have a word count to make!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Finally Friday

I love Fridays.  Adore them.  Maybe it's a hold over from when I worked outside the home, but Fridays are the gateway to the weekend.  We always eat dinner out on Friday night (date night!) 

This week was a short one, due to Labor Day.  Though not for me, as I worked most of last weekend and Monday.

I'm writing away on the next Nocturne and really loving the story.  So that's good. 

This month (the 22nd) has the first day of Autumn.  I wish we'd get some Autumn like weather, that's for sure.




So, I have nothing to say really.  And I do have work to do. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Mid-week Ramble

This morning in addition to checking my Amazon.com sales numbers, I logged in to Bookscan.  And yes, I was thrilled to see my Harlequin Romantic Suspense, The Cop's Missing Child, had made the top 100 of Adult Fiction Overall Romance!  Number 94, to be exact!

Very cool news and a much needed shot in the arm after all the drama and craziness with the book I just turned in yesterday. 

Especially since I have to immediately start work on my next Harlequin Nocturne The Broken Wolf.
I love the story and the synopsis has been approved, but what I really want to do is take the rest of this week off.    I'd like to sit down with a book and let another author's words carry me away.

I'm reading two different books right now - the #1 NYT Bestseller Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (which is ok), and the amazing YA book AngelFall by Susan Ee.  That book is one of those books that, the entire time I'm reading it, I'm wishing I'd been the one to write it!  If you're a writer, you know what I mean!  It is good - so good.  It's really strange, but I have been finding the most groundbreaking, different, and well-written books in Young Adult these days.  So many amazing finds!

So that's what I wish I could do.  Sit down and read. 

Instead, I'm going to be writing down scenes I need to write for The Broken Wolf.  Then I plan to start using Candace Haven's Fast Draft method and see how much I can get done.

Because as I've mentioned before in this little blog, I do have an idea for my own YA.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Random Tuesday

So here it is, the day I turn in the book.  Ok, I admit it - I've already sent the email.  After so many mishaps starting with just getting the synopsis approved, this book is one I want gone.  I worked on it Monday and planned to do so today as well, but.... Decided it was safer not to.  I emailed it to my editor and then went and gave myself an at-home facial. 

Now, skin taken care off, I've read all my email, checked all the blogs I read daily, and am posting on my blog.  I've organized my desk, put all the papers pertaining to The Millionaire Cowboy's Secret in a file folder, printed the synopsis for the next book, The Broken Wolf, printed the senior editor's notes that she wants me to keep in mind as I write, and counted days until it's due, so I know my minimum daily word count. 

Since I'm going to the Ninc Conference this year (you might remember last year I was all set to go and my Mom got diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer and had to get rushed in for emergency surgery when the doctor accidently perforated her intestine).  Mom is still doing chemo and as of today the cancer hasn't spread, so I'm optimistic I'll actually make the conference.  Best of all, my friend Stephanie Doyle is going to room with me!  I haven't seen her since 2009 at the RWA National Conference in D.C., so I'm looking forward to that greatly.

I'm trying to have a calm and restful sort of day before I dive back into the writing grind.  I figure since I worked most of the three day weekend, I deserve it. 

I'll probably do some pre-work, like sketching out scenes etc. 

Oh, and I did put up another one of my old backlist (from 1998) on Amazon.  Here is is on Amazon